Five more wanted by ICAC for allegedly breaching ECICO by inciting others not to vote at LegCo Election
Warrants have been issued by Magistrates for the arrest of five persons, who are wanted by the ICAC for allegedly breaching Section 27A of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance (ECICO) by “engaging in illegal conduct to incite another person not to vote, or to cast invalid vote, by activity in public during election period”.
The ICAC had earlier probed into conduct allegedly breaching Section 27A of the ECICO at the 2021 Legislative Council General Election (the LegCo Election). In accordance with established procedures, the findings of the investigation were forwarded to the Department of Justice for legal advice, which considered that there was sufficient evidence to institute prosecution against four men and one woman.
Sunny Cheung Kwan-yang, 25; Lee Ka-wai, 25; Lau Ka-man, 26; and Lee Hin-long, 28; jointly face a charge contrary to Section 27A(1) of the ECICO. Cheung alone further faces two similar offences.
It is alleged that on December 16, 2021, Cheung, Lee Ka-wai, Lau and Lee Hin-long had allegedly engaged in illegal conduct by carrying out an activity in public, namely broadcasting through a social media platform a discussion amongst them, which incited others not to vote at the LegCo Election.
Cheung had also allegedly engaged in illegal conduct on December 15, 2021 by carrying out activities in public, namely displaying two posts on his two social media pages, which incited others not to vote at the LegCo Election.
Law Kwun-chung, 28, also faces a charge contrary to Section 27A(1) of the ECICO. He had allegedly engaged in illegal conduct on or about December 3, 2021 by carrying out an activity in public, namely making a speech at a web conference, which incited others not to vote at the LegCo Election.
As the aforesaid five persons had already left Hong Kong, warrants for the arrest of them were issued by Magistrates this morning (December 18) and yesterday afternoon (December 17) separately upon applications made by the ICAC.
The Commission has so far arrested a total of 10 persons, two of whom were prosecuted; and wanted seven others, including the above five persons, for allegedly breaching Section 27A of the ECICO at the LegCo Election. The relevant investigations are still on-going.
The LegCo Election was open for nominations from October 30. According to the ECICO, the period between that day and the polling day (December 19) is defined as the “election period” of the election. The ECICO stipulates that “activity in public” includes any form of communication to the public, and the distribution or dissemination of any matter to the public. The ECICO applies to all conduct concerning an election, whether the conduct is engaged in within Hong Kong or elsewhere. Any person who violates Section 27A of the ECICO is liable on conviction to a maximum penalty of a three-year imprisonment and a fine of $200,000.
The ICAC noted that some individuals had repeatedly called on others to boycott the LegCo Election to be held tomorrow (December 19). The Commission reiterates that appealing to others to boycott an election in public may violate Section 27A of the ECICO. Members of the public are again reminded to abide by the law, and not to engage in making illegal appeals or repost unlawful contents in order to uphold a fair and clean election. The ICAC will continue to take resolute enforcement actions to combat conduct manipulating or undermining the election to ensure that it will be held in a fair and just manner.